Monthly Archive: November 2016

Be Safe, Score Big: A Safety Mini-Guide for Serious Video Gaming

Let’s face it: gaming sessions can sometimes be all-day affairs that leave you little time for much else, let alone time spent worrying about ways to prevent aches and pains. But, really, you should worry about these things, especially if you game for long stretches.

Back, neck and wrist pains are common among heavy computer and console users and they can seriously affect your game. Not only can they take away focus, if they become bad enough, you may not even be able to game at all for long stretches. So here’s a quick guide on ways to stay safe while gaming.

Prevent Aches and Pains

The most common complaint from gamers is that they experience back and neck pains frequently. This is usually due to poor playing posture.

Good posture may take some time to achieve, especially if you have particularly bad posture now. The best thing to do is to have your feet about shoulder-width apart and your soles flat on the floor. Straighten your back as much as is comfortable and pull your shoulders back about level with your hips. It may make you sore at first, but as you practice it, you will find the pain lessening into nothing.

Having the proper PC gaming chair can also go a long way in preventing aches and pains. They are specifically designed for long sessions of sitting and will help your posture, too.

Take Breaks

Don’t spend hours and hours staring at the screen in the same position. This will undoubtedly cause you headaches, eye strain and back aches that will hinder your enjoyment and performance.

Make it a point to take a five minute break for every hour of gaming. Walk away and do a few stretches to help your muscles stay loose. It’s better to take even longer breaks as well every so often, upwards of 30 minutes that you can use to stay hydrated and maybe get a few more exercises in.

While sitting doesn’t seem like it takes a lot of effort, it does and you need to counteract that effort with breaks and exercise to stay safe.

Don’t Take it Too Seriously

Gaming — even serious gaming for a living — should be fun and enjoyable, Sure, you’ll have those days where it’s not as fun as you’d like it to be, but it should never become a burden to you.

If you find yourself canceling plans and avoid relationships, you may be addicted to gaming and should find help. A gaming addiction is as serious and can be as destructive as any other addiction and you will eventually come to hate gaming because of it.

So don’t take it too seriously. Skip a day or two if you can. Take frequent breaks and don’t neglect the other things in life that you live and give you pleasure. Your gaming sessions will be better for it.

Try to remember these simple things next time you start an epic gaming session.

Aaron Turner is a GP with a fairly typical home life; two teenage sons that need nagging about homework, keeping their rooms tidy and screen time. He writes about the health problems young people face due to today’s ever-connected world, and what can be done to prevent it.

Gamers, Grab Your Cups! | Coffee and Gaming

Coffee and Gaming

It’s 3:00 a.m. and you are gaming with two friends who are both gaining more points than you are. You have to be at work by 9:00 a.m., but you don’t want to be the loser. What do you need? A cappuccino or a lattee would be nice, but a quick cup of Joe will do. The best way to quench your desire for a hot caffeinated beverage is right at home, and I personally only use a french press coffee maker. It’s worth the extra few minutes and extra steps to have a truly fine java that I make myself.

The difference between brewing with a drip style and a press are well defined. What the gamer will be interested in knowing is that with the latter, the coffee brewer (you) controls the strength of each cup. The press uses a coarser grind, and you can allow the coffee to brew for a longer time. The water for the press is brought to a boil before being added, making that all-important first cup piping hot, which is desirable for coffee drinkers.

A cup of black pressed coffee can taste almost like an espresso. You might even see a crema on the surface, the fine layer of bean oil. If you foam up some milk and spoon it on top, it is as close to a cappuccino as anything else.

World’s Most Consumed Drink

Coffee became popular in America after the Boston Tea Party in 1773. Because of the desire for the Colonists to make the break with England, choosing a cup of coffee rather than a cup of tea was viewed as being very patriotic.

In the 1960’s, I can only remember the brand of Folgers coffee being sold in the grocery stores. I remember the loud bubbling of my parent’s percolator on the kitchen counter every morning. The aroma during the brewing processing would waft into my bedroom and that was the very first smell of the day.

Today, there isn’t a small or large city without a well-known coffee house serving dozens of coffee beverages. Stores take up half an aisle for hundreds of coffees, whole bean and ground from all over the world. We have instant, drip grinds from fine to coarse, single cup coffees, and decaf choices.

Coffee’s Many Benefits

Two great things are in our favorite drink, caffeine and antioxidents! That means wake up and stay up on the first, and battle the free radicals with the second. Magnesium and Calcium are two nutrients found in coffee. Some studies suggest coffee as being preventative medicine for Parkinson’s Disease, strokes, Basil Cell Carcinomas, and may lower the risk of Type II Diabetes.

It’s even been studied as a possible antidepressant, which makes sense to me…rarely do I see sad people chugging coffee, they are usually talking rapidly and smiling…a lot! So gamers, keep pressing the coarse grinds and enjoy your favorite drink…you might even play with more of an edge!